Osvaldo Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina. Born to a piano-teacher mother and physician father, Golijov was raised surrounded by classical chamber music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla. His blending of genres and seamless integration of voices speak volumes about his approach and style, a musical language that can only be termed Golijovian.
Since the early 1990s, Golijov has enjoyed collaborations with some of the world’s leading chamber music ensembles such as the Kronos Quartet and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, in addition to relationships with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, and Robert Spano. In 2000, the premiere of Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos (St. Mark Passion) took the music world by storm. The Boston Globe called it "the first indisputably great composition of the 21st century.” Golijov has also received acclaim for other groundbreaking works such as his opera Ainadamar and the clarinet quintet The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, as well as music he has written for the films of Francis Ford Coppola.
Golijov served as the Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall during the 2012–13 season. He is Loyola Professor of Music at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, where he has taught since 1991.